PRESIDENT Hussein Ali Mwinyi has challenged universities in the country to change with the times and produce a skilled workforce required for ongoing development initiatives.
He issued the statement at the 18th graduation ceremony of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), where he argued that the university still has the responsibility to increase the number of young professionals.
“Our universities should play a big role in building our economy by producing competent graduates. We need experts produced at home,” said Dr Mwinyi who also holds the SUZA chancellor position.
He said that the current challenges facing the country such as unemployment can be addressed by producing a workforce which can compete in the free labour market so that the young people can be employed or use the education they have acquired to employ themselves.
Dr Mwinyi informed the gathering that in order for the country to grow, it needs people who are able to learn and cope quickly, who are dedicated, hardworking, honest, fair and who are able to convince others to be the same.
He said that it is impressive that the university is switching towards producing a number of good graduates in various fields every year, such as experts in languages, education and health which shows development of the university.
He praised the existing cooperation that exists between SUZA and local international institutions, saying that the relations are important in achieving the government’s goals, including major reforms in the education sector.
Commenting about challenges facing the university, Dr Mwinyi asked members of the college community to provide cooperation to universities management and leadership to work together to find solutions to these challenges.
The Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Ms Lela Mohamed Mussa said that SUZA is the only university owned by the government and she believes that it will continue to improve and provide better services in the relevant public institutions to get qualified young people.
It was an opportunity for the Minister to thank the government for establishing the university to ensure that all people, including the poor have higher education.
“We promise that the ministry will continue to coordinate with SUZA to ensure that the government’s goals are achieved, including providing quality education to young people,” she said.
Earlier, the SUZA Vice Chancellor, Prof Mohamed Makame Haji stressed to the graduates to remember that seeking education is a continuous process and that completing in various levels of the profession is the beginning of the next level, as education has no end.
A total of 1,913, including 1,103 women graduated and were awarded certificates, diplomas, degrees, Master’s degrees and PhD.